What is Smart Start?

Pitkin County’s Smart Start program provides low-income working families help with childcare expenses. Your local family engagement coordinator is here to help you navigate our community’s system of financial assistance. Please call 970-920-5382 to set up an appointment.

If you are working, looking for work or attending school, you may qualify for help paying for the quality care you want for your child through Pitkin County’s Smart Start program. We’re so fortunate to have several ways to help families pay for childcare; the qualifications vary depending on the source of funding. Assistance payments are made directly to the childcare programs. For information, contact Kids First at 970-920-5363 or visit kidsfirst@cityofaspen.com.  For a list of licensed childcare programs, go to www.qualistar.org.


Click on the arrow to listen to the Smart Start radio spot: 
___

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Do I qualify?


Colorado Childcare Assistance Program

This assistance (CCCAP)  is available for children who are under age 13 and are U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens, and it covers time when parents are at work, looking for work or attending school. Families must reside in Pitkin County. Your gross income and the size of your family will determine how much money you may receive as a credit on your childcare bill each month. Your gross monthly income is the total on your paychecks before taxes and any deduction. You must also include any child support income, unemployment income or any other form of financial assistance your family receives each month.

Applications in English and Spanish are available below. We also encourage you to contact our Family Engagement Coordinator at lbonillaccap@gmail.com or by calling 970-920-5382. She is here to help you complete the application, answer your questions and put you in contact with high quality childcare programs.

CCCAP works with most licensed childcare programs and can also approve care of children by individuals who are not licensed but who meet certain qualifications. Basic guidelines for income for CCCAP are:

Family Size
Gross Monthly Income
2
$2586
3
$3256
4
$3926
5
$4596
6
$5266
Kids First Childcare Financial Aid

This assistance is available for children who are age 5 or younger, are U.S. citizens or are legal resident aliens, and it covers time when parents are at work, looking for work or attending school. Families must live or work in the Aspen Urban Growth Boundary. Your gross income, the number of children in your family, the cost of the childcare you chose, and the number of days your child attends childcare will determine how much money you may receive as a credit on your childcare bill each month. Using this information Kids First offers childcare financial aid based on a family’s ability to pay, much financial aid for higher education, for families with incomes up to 500% of Federal Poverty Level. Applications in English and Spanish, a map of the Aspen Urban Growth Boundary, and a pre-qualifying calculator for you to see if you may qualify, are available at www.kidsfirst.aspenpitkin.com. Please contact our Financial Aid Coordinator at cecelia.martin@cityofaspen.com or 970-920-5769 for more information. Deadlines for financial aid through Kids First are February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1. Kids First childcare financial aid works with licensed childcare programs in Pitkin County.___

Colorado Preschool Program (CPP)

This assistance is available for children who are age 3 and 4 by September 15. Families must live in the Aspen School District. Eligibility for CPP is based on family risk factors that may be a barrier for a child’s success in school. These may include being eligible for free or reduced lunch, frequent relocation, homelessness, an abusive adult in the household, drug or alcohol abuse in the family, if the child is in need of language development or if the child has a teen parent.Please contact Laura Swenson at lswenson@aspenk12.net or 970-925-3760 x 5001, for more information. CPP works with most licensed childcare programs in Pitkin County.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What type of childcare providers can I use?

boy3a
Smart Start works with qualified Pitkin County childcare providers and preschools. 
Call Kids First at 970-920-5363 or click here for a list of licensed childcare providers in Pitkin County.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How do I apply?


To apply for childcare assistance through CCCAP, you must complete and return BOTH:
and
The Client Responsibilities Agreement (initial and sign):
Download Client Responsibility Form in Spanish

To apply for Kids First childcare financial aid, try out the pre-qualification calculator, go to kidsfirst.aspenpitkin.com. or contact Kids First at 970-920-5769, or cecelia.martin@cityofaspen.com, for  the guidelines and application.

To apply for CPP preschool scholarships, contact the Aspen School district at lswenson@aspenk12.net or 970-925-3760 x 5001.
Share Button